National Opera Association Member Newsletter
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NOA Notes Newsletter
Vol. 41, No. 4
October 2018

In This Issue

From the President
From the President Elect
From the Vice-President of Conferences
From the Vice President for Regions
From the Finance Committee
Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition
2019 Board Slate of Nominees



Registration Now Open!!
2019 Salt Lake City


October 15
Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition

Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition

Convention Poster Session

Scholarly Paper Competition

Dissertation Competition

From the President

Paul Houghtaling

Associate Professor of Voice
Director of Opera Theatre Director
The Druid City Opera Workshop
University of Alabama School of Music

Greetings, NOA members. 

I hope you’re all enjoying your fall semesters and new opera seasons. I’m happy to report that NOA has been very busy on the regional level with three one-day conferences produced by Regional Governors Tammie Huntington for the Great Lakes Region, Jen Stephenson for the West Central Region, and Gordon Ostrowski for the Eastern Region.  Bravo!   And thanks to Dawn Neely, Vice President for Regions, for her guiding force. The Eastern Regional Conference is still coming up in New York for those in the area. 

And plans continue to move forward for a terrific conference in Salt Lake City where we’ll be joined by our headliners Harolyn Blackwell, Stephen Lord, and Michael Ballam.  Lisa Dawson, Vice President for Conferences, is putting the finishing touches on the event. I hope you’ll make plans to join us in majestic Salt Lake City and don’t forget the unique opportunities for your students including the Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition, the Vocal Competition, Stephen Lord’s master class, and many other sessions especially geared toward students and the young artist arena.

This year will also feature the finals of the Chamber Opera Competition with performances by Southern Utah University, directed by Carol Ann Modesitt (works by Evan Mack and Sky Macklay), and the University of Colorado Boulder, directed by Leigh Holman (an opera by Tony Solitro).  Finally, I invite everyone to take a look at our website at  Webmaster and Associate Executive Director Kirk Severtson does a wonderful job in keeping the public side of the site up to date, easily navigable, and attractive.

Happy fall once again, and don’t forget to keep January 2-5, 2019 on your calendars and experience Salt Lake City with us!



From the President Elect

Benjamin Brecher

Professor of Music
The University of California Santa Barbara

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this finds you all well and many of you enjoying the fall semester.  NOA board members have been working hard this summer finalizing the many competitions, doing committee work, and taking on new challenges.  Robert Hansen and I have been charged to go through all of NOA's needs for conference Audio/Visual support moving forward.  I look forward to supporting all of the great presentations at our conferences with the needed expertise and equipment. 

Special Congratulations to the Regional Conferences!  This has been a groundbreaking year with Regional support, and I encourage any of you who can to attend September 29, West Region Conference, or October 6, Eastern Conference.  Please visit the website to sign up. 

Three months until Salt Lake City!!

Wishing you all the best for a wonderful school year.


From the Vice-President for Conferences
Lisa Dawson

Professor of Voice, Indiana Wesleyan University


Top Ten Reasons to Attend the
2019 NOA Conference in Salt Lake City:


10. Regional Networking Lunch

The Regional Networking Lunch will be across the street in the spacious restaurant at the Grand America where a delicious lunch has already been ordered especially for us!


9. Beautiful Hotel

The Little Hotel America is lovely and recently renovated.  The space is very conducive to our schedule and allows attendees to move easily from one activity to the next while enjoying space to connect with one another.


8. Sacred in Opera

On Friday evening of the conference, we will travel by shuttle to Salt Lake City's Gothic Romanesque Cathedral of the Madeleine  ( to witness over 300 artists present a new work, Naamah's Ark.


7. 25+ Sessions and Poster Sessions

Exciting and informative sessions with tracks Educating for the Future, Engaging Culture, and Embracing the New.  Attendees can follow a track or mix and match!  In addition, we have many sessions planned that will be of special interest to students.  Here is the schedule:


6. Plenary Sessions, Panel Discussions, and Masterclasses

Navigating the World of Young Artist Programs

                 IDEA- Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Access... The Start of a Discussion

                  Breaking Boundaries in Opera:
           New Approaches to the Stage by Female Composer

Women Conductors in Opera


5. Salt Lake City - need I say more?


4. Competitions

Including: Vocal Competition, Chamber Opera Competition, Opera Production Competition, Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition, Stage Director's Fellowship, Scholarly Paper Competition, Dissertation Competition


3. Special Guests:

            We are proud to announce our special guests
Harolyn Blackwell         Stephen Lord             Micheal Ballam



2. The people!



1. The Love of Opera

The National Opera Association seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities, and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera.  Together, we continue forge the way—Pioneers, laying the foundation for what is ahead!

Anxious to see you there!


From the Vice-President for Regions

Dawn Neely

Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Workshop
West Georgia University

It has been a very active summer staying in touch with the Governors of our three regions planning one-day conferences. Great Lakes Region held its conference on September 15th and featured George Shirley as a guest master class clinician, and Phillip Seward gave the keynote address. West Central Region will held its conference on September 29th and featured both Copeland Woodruff as guest clinician and Paul Houghtaling as keynote speaker.  Finally, the Eastern Region will hold its conference on October 6th and will feature Claudia Catania as master class clinician.
I am very excited about all the opportunities we are giving our members. We also hope non-members will participate and consider joining our organization. I look forward to working with our Governors as well as the rest of the board to assess our regional events for future planning and marketing. 
I will continue to work with all of our Governors to help plan smaller regional events and recruit members, particularly in our regions with low membership. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and suggestions on recruitment and regional events!

In case you need anything from your Regional Governor, we have included the list below. You can find their email addresses (as well as those for all Officers and Board Members) by CLICKING HERE.

Bookmark it!!

Region States Governor
Cal Western AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT Carol Ann Modesitt (email)
Central IA, IL, MO Ann Marie Daehn (email)
Eastern DE, NJ, NY, PA, WV, E. ON Gordon Ostrowski (email)
Great Lakes IN, MI, OH, W. ON Tammie Huntington (email)
Mid-Atlantic MD, NC, SC, VA, DC Kenneth Wood (email)
Mid-South KY, TN Vacant
New England      CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT, QC, Maritimes         Caroline Schiller (email)
North Central            MN, ND, SD, WI, MB, SK Copeland Woodruff (email)
Northwestern AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, AB, BC Chris Pfund (email)
Southeastern AL, FL, GA, PR, VI Kristin Kenning (email)
Southern AR, LA, MS Mark Clark (email)
Texoma NM, OK, TX Barbara Hill Moore (email)
West Central CO, KS, NE, WY Jen Stephenson (email)

               State Governors
State Governor
Alabama Susan Williams
Alaska Christopher Pfund
Arizona Brian DeMaris
Arkansas Marika Kyriakos
California Louise Lofquist
Colorado Leigh Holman
Connecticut Dan Shore
Delaware Blake Smith
Florida Kurt-Alexander Zeller
Georgia Kurt-Alexander Zeller
Hawaii Louise Lofquist
Illinois Philip Seward
Indiana Jon Truitt
Idaho Christopher Pfund
Iowa Christine Seitz
Kansas Bryan Pinkall
Kentucky Vacant
Louisiana Loraine Sims
Maine Caroline Schiller
Maryland Sam Mungo
Massachusetts Dan Shore
Michigan Jon Truitt
Minnesota Patricia Snapp
Mississippi Connie Roberts
Missouri Anne Marie Daehn
Montana Anne Basinski
Nebraska Alisa Belflower
Nevada Linda Lister
New Hampshire Caroline Schiller
New Jersey Susan Gonzalez
New Mexico Jon Pierce
New York Susan Gonzalez
North Carolina Brian Arreola
North Dakota Tracelyn Gesteland
Ohio Any Johnson
Oklahoma Rebecca Renfro Grimes
Oregon Karen Esquivel
Pennsylvania Gordon Ostrowski
Puerto Rico Susan Williams
Rhode Island Dan Shore
South Carolina Christi McClain
South Dakota Tracelyn Gesteland
Tennessee Vacant
Texas Rebecca Renfro Grimes
Utah Carol Ann Modesitt
Vermont Caroline Schiller
Virginia Kenneth Wood
Washington Gayla Blaisdell
Washington, D.C. Kenneth Wood
West Virginia Gordon Ostrowski
Wisconsin Copeland Woodruff
Wyoming Leigh Holman


From the Finance Committee

Carol Ann Modesitt, treasurer

Chair, Finance Committee and 2018 Annual Campaign
Cal-Western regional Governor

Music Department
Southern Utah University

From the Annual Campaign Finance Committee:

As I looked up at the mountains on my way in to work today, I saw that the scrub oaks were a bright red and the aspen trees are starting to turn a bright golden yellow.  Fall is definitely on its way, and before we know it the holidays will be upon us. I am hoping to get up into the mountains over the weekend to enjoy the fall colors.

For those of you who are in storm drenched areas and for those of you who are in areas threatened by wild fires, you are in our prayers, and we hope that you are safe and that your life will return to normal very soon. 

I am definitely looking forward to our 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City, and I hope you are as well.  This is the time of year that I remind members to make a tax deductible contribution for the Annual Campaign.  You still have three months to make your contribution to the 2019 Campaign.  I hope you will find it in your budget and heart to be able to do so. 

I wish you all the best in the remaining months of 2018.  See you in Salt Lake City in January.
Carol Ann

Sneak Peek: 2019 Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition

Deadline: October 15, 2018

The COSC Committee is excited for the 2019 Competition!
Deadline for submitting opera scenes for the preliminary round is coming up soon! October 15th, 2018.
There are three categories: Opera Division I (mostly undergraduates), Opera Division II (mostly graduates), and Musical Theatre (mostly undergraduates). Please remember to check out the website for complete guidelines and important information for directors and students. NOA can furnish a collaborative pianist for your scene at no cost should your entry advance to the finals. This will include one 15-minute rehearsal the evening before the competition as well as the performance. We are thrilled with our finals judges. Don’t miss a great opportunity for your students to perform at our beautiful venue in Salt Lake City.

2019 Board Slate of Nominees

Final Slate for Board of Directors Nominees

Nominating Committee 
Linda Lister, Chair
Ruth Dobson
Rebecca Grimes
Reginald Pittman
Philip Seward


Michael Ching
Michael Ching is an opera composer, conductor, songwriter, and former arts administrator. For eighteen years he was Artistic Director of Opera Memphis. Michael studied composition with Robert Ward at Duke University and Carlisle Floyd at the Houston Opera Studio. His most popular opera, SPEED DATING TONIGHT! has received over sixty productions since its 2013 premiere, many from NOA members. His other frequently produced opera is BUOSO'S GHOST, a sequel to Puccini's GIANNI SCHICCHI. Michael is the Music Director of Amarillo Opera and the Composer-in-Residence at the Savannah Voice Festival which has premiered his most recent works, ANNA HUNTER (2017) and ALICE RYLEY (2015). Michael is currently working on new projects for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater and the Palm Springs Opera Guild. Michael is opera consultant for E.C. Schirmer.  
Caroline Schiller
Dedicated to the training of young singers, she is Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at Memorial University of Newfoundland; One of the founding faculty members of the MUN Song Academy, a week-long summer intensive program in song repertoire for high school age singers; Past District Governor and President of the Canadian Atlantic Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing; Frequent recitalist, adjudicator and clinician internationally.Caroline Schiller is founder and director of Opera RoadShow/Opéra en tournée, an opera outreach and touring program that began in 2003 and offers paid performing experience to university-age singers.  The Vinland Traveler (2006) and Le nez de la sorcière (2011) traveled approximately 10,000 kms and performed for more than 20,000 children. 
Dan Shore
is an opera composer and playwright whose many works for the stage include The Beautiful Bridegroom (first prize, National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera Competition), An Embarrassing Position (first prize, National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera Competition, and a Big Easy Entertainment Award), Travel (first prize, Astoria Performing Arts Center Playwriting Contest), Anne HutchinsonThe Chorus GirlLady Orchid and Freedom Ride. Recent concert works include commissions from Calliope’s Call, Musaica, Duo Cantabrigia, the Rivers School Conservatory, and the Freisinger Chamber Orchestra. An alumnus of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a Fulbright scholar, Dan holds a B.M. and M.M. from the New England Conservatory and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York. Former faculty at Xavier University of Louisiana, Baruch College, and Emerson College, he currently teaches at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. 

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for the future of opera.
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